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Comment: Re:WiFi Calling? (Score 1) 729

by clonehappy (#47866091) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

My BlackBerry on T-Mobile had Wi-Fi calling in 2007 that would hand off between the Wi-Fi and cellular network. Of course, now that the device using it has a piece of fruit on the back of it, it's magically "usable". Come to think of it, it was tough to use the feature on my old BlackBerry, you know, you just had to leave the Wi-Fi on and whenever you were in range of a suitable AP it would work automatically. I'm sure Apple has made it much easier than that.

Comment: Re:The real reason, and it does make sense (Score 2) 524

by clonehappy (#47857413) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

I don't disagree about basic connectivity. I personally know plenty of people in those difficult last mile areas who would *love* to have a 4Mbit/sec downstream wired internet connection. But the difficult last miles are why we pay things like USF fees, we do things like grant monopolies, we provide tax breaks and other subsidies to those who claim they are going to provide that connectivity to the exurban and rural areas.

There was a high-profile examination of a similar situation, in New Jersey I believe, where the ILEC had taken millions in tax breaks and subsidies to provide universal broadband in their area of monopoly. Those deals dated back two decades, yet many areas of that state are still served by central offices that aren't even DSL capable. That's unacceptable. HEVC be damned, when you can't even get "broadband" (however you'd care to define it) to begin with. I'm fortunate enough to live in a suburban area in a large megalopolis served by Comcast. If it weren't for them, I'd be on a DSL line from a carrier I won't name that got stuck with the rotted physical plant left behind by the same company that took the money and ran in NJ.

Note that these same ILECs are the ones that fight tooth and nail against community and cooperative broadband in every state they do business in. If it weren't for the subsidies, tax breaks, and government-granted monopolies many of these areas would still have no POTS or electricity for that matter. The rest of the areas, the ones served by telephone and electricity cooperatives, never even got that until they did it themselves. This isn't about free market capitalism, it's about having a reliable national communications infrastructure. As it stands for broadband, the ILECs can't even do it when they have it handed to them on a silver platter.

I understand the last mile challenges are fierce, and I'm from the flat heartland of America. I know it's worse in more rural, less populated areas than I have seen anywhere even in my state. But I have no sympathy for these telcos. If we found a way to provide those folks with electricity and POTS, we can do it with fiber. Fiber runs are better suited for rural areas than copper, anyway, as the loss is negligible in comparison over longer distances. And if you are going to roll new lines, metal ones are so 20th century anyway. The rest of the world is moving on. Do we really want our rural brothers and sisters to be stuck with copper? I say make the definition of broadband 100Mbit! And force the telcos taking subsidies to get the goddamned job done or at the bare minimum, get the fuck out of the way and let a cooperative or muni do it who can and stop buying legislation to screw over the good folks out in the sticks.

Comment: Re:wut? (Score 1) 524

by clonehappy (#47857157) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

"They" are not "stuck" with anything, including copper. "They" have the option of rolling out next-gen fiber or HFC just like Big Cable. What's that "they" say? "That" wouldn't be economically viable? Then maybe "they" should have been doing something besides stealing subsidies and pocketing every dime of profit for the last two decades rather than letting their plant rot into oblivion. If "they" were in charge of infrastructure in a first-world country, "they" would be in prison for breach of contract, embezzlement, and neglecting/sabotaging critical national infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Logged in to email? (Score 1) 117

by clonehappy (#47714393) Attached to: 51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

Because you haven't been able to set a SIM PIN since, say, SIM cards were invented, right? Just because no one uses the security mechanisms available doesn't automatically make it the cell network's fault when someone rips you off. Set a device PIN and a SIM PIN and you're all set. Takes about 10 seconds.

Comment: Passively pushed to Fiber? (Score 2) 93

by clonehappy (#47682059) Attached to: Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

I'd gladly take fiber, if it were available.

The problem is, it isn't for the vast majority of the population.

Verizon and others are just letting the copper rot. There is no alternative. If you're lucky, you have a cableco co come in and provide a usable service. Luckily, I live in a Comcast territory and have had exactly zero service issues in the last 8 years and a speed increase every other year. Copper? Verizon sold this area to Frontier and you're still lucky if you can break one megabit on their DSL. Please, you wouldn't have to passively encourage me to get fiber if it were available. I'd already be on it.

If the telcos weren't so busy spending every last dime on C-level executives, lawsuits, advertising, and slithering out from underneath their commitments, even good old Verizon could have rolled fiber to everyone in their footprint. Even the ex-GTE areas like mine that had a stellar copper network before Verizon consumed them and left them for dead.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 147

I know this is modded flamebait, but I tend to agree to a point. The providers shouldn't be let off the hook for advertising/selling "unlimited" data plans when short of putting a micro-cell tower on every lightpole, such a thing is not economically viable. It's all false advertising at the least. But at the same time, P2P/torrenting over a cellular connection all the time is like pissing in the pool. It's probably cool if it happens occasionally, but when it's being done constantly it fucks everyone over.

Comment: Re:I quit buying Samsung (Score 1) 220

Yeah....but name manufacturer that is better then them?

Better than Samsung? Motorola, Apple, LG, and HTC for starters. I've never understood the hype around Samsung's Android phones, they are cheap plastic, have the ugliest skin (TouchWiz) out of all the manufacturers and have always had sub-par RF performance on every one I've ever owned.

Stick with the high-end models from any of the big names and you'll have a better experience than on a Samsung Galaxy. And I've owned a bunch of high-end Android phones over the years and have not yet had one that didn't have at least decent Cyanogen support. Say what you will about Apple, as well, I'm not a big fan of the walled garden, but the hardware and build quality is top notch. Also, the LG G2/G3, HTC One Series, and almost all recent Motorolas (Droid MAXX, HD, X, G) have a very premium look and feel to them, lightyears ahead of Samsung and generally a bit cheaper.

I suppose marketing hype really is everything, as I've never been "wowed" by any of Samsung's products.

Comment: Re:I don't see what good unlocking does (Score 5, Informative) 77

by clonehappy (#47535777) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

This is a tech site, we're supposed to be people who keep up with the latest in technology. I'm not sure, exactly, why I have to keep posting this over and over, but here we go again:

The "retarded" Verizon specific phones are actually some of the most compatible phones you can buy today. Not only do they work on the Verizon CDMA and "bastardized" LTE networks, but they include full functionality for GSM and HSPA networks. I have two Verizon phones, right at this moment, that I'm using full time on other networks with full capability. My Verizon iPhone 5S is currently being used on an AT&T postpaid plan. All LTE, HSPA, and GSM functions work with 100% compatibility. My Verizon LG G2 is being used on T-Mobile with full LTE, HSPA, and GSM services. Nearly every phone worth having today is fully compatible with the GSM/WCDMA (HSPA) network technology. Phones are becoming more compatible, not less.

Now, everyone always wants to trot out the fact that you can't take a phone from Carrier X and move it to Verizon, and this is true. Very few use cases actually involve moving a phone TO Verizon, however. But to say that Verizon phones are the bastard child of the cellular industry is simply untrue. In fact, they are more useful to some people, including myself, as I can take the aforementioned G2 or iPhone and put my Verizon SIM back in it and go on my way. Phone manufacturers have no incentive to make multiple product lines, yet they all still need to support Verizon as the largest carrier in the United States. So they make compatible phones, then simply disable the ability to connect to CDMA on the ones sold to GSM/HSPA providers. But the Verizon ones are compatible with GSM/HSPA and CDMA, making them the most versatile of all.

At any rate, things being more open rather than less is always a good thing. There are plenty of cases where a phone geek such as myself can benefit from having unlocked handsets lying around. Say someone breaks a phone, or an iPhone fanboy wants to try out Android (or the other way around), or traveling overseas, or trying out a new MVNO or prepaid carrier...just pop in the SIM and you're on your way. And as for the GP, millions of phones work on CDMA and GSM (and their descendents), they're just all sold by Verizon. But the FUD machine wants you to think there's no good reason to have handsets with carrier mobility, and for many folks, that's simply untrue.

Comment: Re:LoL... (Score 1) 278

Raw phone audio traffic/data, at least on cellular which makes up the vast majority of telephone traffic these days, is already heavily compressed at the air interface level to allow companies to maximize the voice traffic they can carry across a channel without increasing physical capacity. It would be hard to compress it much further and still be audible. Hell, on Verizon Wireless's network it is already practically inaudible due to the compression.
 
You'd basically just have to dump it to disk which wouldn't be processor intensive whatsoever nor would it take much disk. 8k EVRC is a common audio codec, which you could store roughly 30 years of phone calls on a 1TB disk at 8kbps. More reading on EVRC

Comment: Re:I'm shocked! (Score 4, Interesting) 278

worse than I expected

 
Then you really, really haven't been paying attention for the last 15-odd years or so. Where are the apologies from all of the nay-saying bootlickers who branded those of us who have been pointing these things out since the early-90's "tinfoil hat nutters" or "right-wing conspiracy theorists" or just plain old "kooks"?
 
I'm not happy to be proven right (I was always hoping to be proven wrong), I'm just sad that we had to let it get to this point before people started paying attention.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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